MOUNT OLIVE -- Rest. Relax. Enjoy.
Ryan Roberts, 29, has not always able to take his own advice, but he is hopeful that visitors to his R&R Brewery and Taproom will when it opens in the fall.
That philosophy is reflected in his logo, two R's with a hammock slung between them.
"The name R&R Brewing came from the fact that I have always been the type of personality that I want to rest and relax," he said. "I work my butt off, and I do it so that when we finally get to the beach, or we finally get to the mountains, finally get to the golf course, wherever we are, we just breathe, rest and relax."
Roberts, whose family owns Roberts Machine and Supply Co., said he thinks the hammock is the universal symbol for taking it easy.
"I have always been one of those guys I just love to finally rest and hang out for a little, and I want that to be the feeling that people get whenever they come in here," he said.
With that in mind, Roberts plans to incorporate unique ingredients in his beers.
"I have never seen anybody use something like lavender in a beer," he said. "Because it is something that people have never had, they are going to try it out just for the sake of seeing what tastes like."
There are going to be some people who hopefully fall in love with it, he said.
Maybe even one day people will be able to customize their own beer at the business, he said.
"We plan to brew what are called session beers," he said. "That typically refers to a beer that has a lower alcohol by volume."
Assuming all inspections go well, and there are no major bumps in renovations, Roberts plans to open Labor Day weekend in what is the old Sutton Electric building, 541 Northwest Center St.
"I wanted to pick a weekend where people had a little bit of extra time to make that trip," he said. "A lot of people will be going between here and the coast, and there are not a lot of reasons for people to stop in Mount Olive just yet.
"I would love to be a major reason why people get off the highway."
R&R Brewing will be more than just a place where you just stop in to drink beer, he said.
"I want to make this the place if you were retiring after 50 years with a company, the company throws you a party at this place, and you feel special because it is very nice, and it is one of your favorite places to go," he said.
Roberts said his business will be unique in one main aspect in that it will manufacture on site whereas other taprooms are more of a retailer selling beer brewed by someone else.
"That is the way the product gets to the end consumer, but those guys hopefully I would be able to approach them to put my beer on tap at their locations," he said.
Roberts said he will make a variety of everything from lagers, which are light, light beers, to darker stouts.
Initially the taproom will have 10 taps to serve his beers as well as those from others by the pint.
Flights, or beer samples, will be served in 8-ounce jars like the ones used by Mt. Olive Pickle Co. The jars will be filled about halfway.
Or customers will be able to order beers to take with them called a crowler in a 32-ounce can that will be canned at the business.
The business also will sell beer by the keg and to retail customers such as bars and restaurants.
The tentative hours will be 4 to 9p.m. on Fridays, 11a.m. to 11p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 6p.m. on Sundays.
It is definitely a weekend venue for the public, mainly because the building was not designed as a venue to begin with, Roberts said.
"I definitely don't want to give the impression it's a place that stays open until 2 o'clock in the morning, live music, dance floor and stuff like that," he said. "That is not the feel at all."
Roberts said he thinks a large part of his pre-opening and grand opening will be an educational process because a lot of people didn't really knows what it means to be a microbrewery and a taproom.
He said he wants to educate people about what the space is about and how a brewery is more of a community space than people may think it is.
He does not plan to serve food fixed on site. In the brewery community, food trucks are the big thing, Roberts said.
Wifi will be available, and chairs, possibly hammocks and fire pits will be on the patio.
Roberts also plans to develop the patio into a beer garden -- basically a shaded outdoor area. In one corner will be a small raised platform where a musician will be able to perform.
"I can have the doors open where the music travels in and out," he said.
Also, he wants two develop raised garden areas where he can grow his own hops -- one of the main ingredients in beer.
"One thing I would like to go for is farm to table," he said. "Grains, hops almost everything that we can throw in a beer could be sourced locally.
"I think it would be awesome for people to enjoy a beer and know that everything about that beer is your hometown."
Roberts, who has a business degree from UNC-Wilmington and a master's degree in business from N.C. State University, has no formal training in brewing beer.
People can self-teach through the internet, and there has been a lot of trial and error, he said.
"I have been doing what is called home brewing," he said. "I got a home brewing kit from my fianc(c)e, I don't know how many years ago. It was a Christmas present. Me and my brother-in-law, at the time he was my sister's boyfriend, we were brewing at the house in the garage like a lot of people are now in North Carolina and America in general.
"The amount of time it takes, it was a weekend thing. We could get together and watch a football game and brew some beer and catch up with each other."
They had to wait for it to ferment so they would get back together in a couple of weeks and enjoy the beer they had brewed.
"I kind of got into it as a regular hobby," Robert said. "Eventually this warehouse became available to us. It didn't start out as let's go into business to make some money, or another income or anything like that.
"But the more I studied the industry and the more I studied the fact that Mount Olive would need a place like this or eastern North Carolina really needed a place like this -- I decided to go whole hog and pursue it full time."
For more information, visit www.randrbrew.com or R&R Brewing's Facebook page.